We are loaded up this week!
Can Enbrel reverse Alzheimers? – Alzheimer’s patients given a drug usually used to treat arthritis have shown dramatic improvements, leading to hopes of a breakthrough in treating the disease…more
Pfizer plunges on reduced profits – The pharmaceutical maker reported worse than expected results across the board in its first quarter, with its earnings plunging 18% following the advent of generic competition for blood pressure treatment Norvasc and allergy medication Zyrtec…more
Merck and ghostwriting – Two JAMA articles say Merck misrepresented the death risks in one study and routinely stuck the names of top researchers onto ghostwritten scientific reports…more
Memory loss due to incontinence drugs? – Commonly used incontinence drugs may cause memory problems in some older people, a study has found…more
Takeda buys Millennium, further expanding into oncology – Japan’s largest drug company Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. (OOTC:TKPHY) said Thursday it’s buying U.S. biotech company Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:MLNM) for $25 a share, in an all-cash deal valued at about $8.8 billion…more (here is an extended article from Forbes on Biotechs for Sale)
Eli Lilly cutting 500 jobs (not in sales) – Drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co said on Wednesday it would cut up to 500 jobs as it streamlines manufacturing operations in its hometown of Indianapolis…more
Abbott announces strong financial results – Abbott Laboratories Inc said on Wednesday first-quarter earnings increased 34 percent on higher sales of its prescription drugs and medical devices and favorable foreign exchange factors…more
Forest: Good revenue, dim prospects, shares down – A better-than-expected profit was not enough to boost Forest Laboratories shares Tuesday, especially after the drugmaker offered a dim outlook for 2009 and forecast significantly increased spending on research and development to improve its drug pipeline…more
Attacking Alzheimers: are we on the right track? – The drug industry has bet heavily on one theory about the disease. What if that theory is wrong?…more
PDI and Novartis sign deal for Elidel promotion – Contract sales firm PDI signed a four-year agreement with Novartis to deploy a field force promoting Elidel, a second-line eczema treatment for patients older than 2 years, according to Kim Golodetz, a spokesperson for PDI. The deal calls for deployment of “approximately 100 full-time equivalent sales representatives who will call upon physicians nationwide,” a PDI statement said…more
Novartis promotes two more to top positions – Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG on Thursday said it promoted two senior U.S. executives to head its U.S. drugs unit and overall U.S. operations…more
Promising MS treatment results from Novartis drug – Novartis AG’s once-daily FTY720 pill reduced the number of attacks suffered by patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) after three years, according to data presented on Tuesday. Nearly three-quarter of patients taking a 5 milligram dose of FTY720, and 68 percent on a 1.25 mg dose, remained free of attacks after three years, Novartis said in a statement…more
Wild new cancer therapy (no side effects?) getting a trial run – A promising new cancer treatment that may one day replace radiation and chemotherapy is edging closer to human trials. Kanzius RF therapy attaches microscopic nanoparticles to cancer cells and then “cooks” tumors inside the body with harmless radio waves. Based on technology developed by Pennsylvania inventor John Kanzius, a retired radio and TV engineer, the treatment has proven 100 percent effective at killing cancer cells while leaving neighboring healthy cells unharmed. It is currently being tested at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston…more
Migraine drug from GSK/Pozen finally cleared – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a combination migraine drug from GlaxoSmithKline Plc and Pozen Inc, the companies said on Tuesday. The two-in-one drug has faced repeated delays since Pozen sought U.S. approval in 2005. FDA officials had earlier expressed concern over heart safety and the risk of gene toxicity, asking for more data…more
Pre-emption: it’s a big deal – The Third Circuit Court of Appeals found in favor of pharma last week, stating that FDA labeling preempts any liability on the part of the drug companies. According to the decisions in two cases—Colacicco v Apotex and McNellis v Pfizer—pharma can not be held accountable for adverse events caused by drugs that were being monitored by FDA…more
Carlat’s drug rep free zone: one doctor decides to close the door – I’ve had it. As of today, I am no longer allowing drug reps into my office…more
Some docs no longer taking industry money – With little fanfare, a small number of prominent academic scientists have decided to stop accepting payments from drug and device makers for speaking at meetings or for sitting on advisory boards. And while they maintain that it’s important for for knowledgeable scientists to help companies draw up and interpret studies, any work they do will be pro bono…more
Banning drug rep gifts in Mass.: not all docs are on board – Some legislators in Massachusetts would like to make the Bay State the first to ban any gifts to doctors from drug makers, right down to pens with product logos. Docs taking as little as a pen or a slice of pizza from Big Pharma could end up paying $5,000 in fines and serving two years in jail, according to penalties contemplated by drafters of the legislation. Today comes a counterpoint from some heavy-hitting academic docs, who argue that the legislation, rather than solving problems, would be a profound threat to good medicine…more
More transparency in grant $$ spending – For years, the nation’s largest drug and medical device manufacturers have courted doctors with consulting fees, free trips to exotic locales and sponsoring the educational conferences that physicians attend. Those financial ties in most cases need not be disclosed and can lead to arrangements that some say improperly influence medical care. Now, under the threat of regulation from Congress, the two industries are promising to be more forthcoming about their spending…more
Internet vs. Sale Reps – which do doctors prefer?
And finally, how the flu travels the globe – interesting little article, but I really like the graphic!